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Bhubaneswar: 16th Toshali National Crafts Mela attracts many visitors

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], April 7 (ANI): The 16th edition of Toshali National Crafts Mela in Bhubaneswar, which was inaugurated by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on March 28, is attracting visitors with an average footfall of more than one lakh persons every day.

The Mela is being held at Janata Maidan in Bhubaneswar.

The annual Mela aims at offering an open forum to artists and artisans from across the country and also seeks to preserve and nurture the traditional art forms, handicrafts and handlooms.

This year the Toshali Mela has over 450 stalls and artisans from across India are participating in it.

The theme pavilion of the mela showcases the development of the golden grass crafts of Kendrapara district under the Sankalp National Plot Project. It has become the main attraction this year.

Speaking to ANI, Saneya Singh, Project Director of Sankalpa Kendrapada project said, “This project has been given the theme pavilion at the 16th Toshali National Crafts Mela happening right now in Bhubaneswar. This project is a pilot project under the Sankalpa Scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India along with the state institute for development of arts and crafts under the Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts Department of Government of Odisha.”

Speaking further, she said that the project has a stakeholder group of 3000 women artisans from across 35 villages of the Kendrapada district.

“We have levels of skilling, different forms of interventions such as marketing, technology, infrastructure exposure. Under skilling, we have crafts skilling, entrepreneurship and others,” she added.

The Project Director further said that their stall has generated a lot of interest among the people.

“All the products we are selling at the Mela are made from the mixture of golden grass. We are getting a lot of demand for table accessories like mats and trays, laundry baskets and pet baskets,” said Saneya Singh.

Soujanya, a visitor said the Mela is famous for handlooms and handicrafts.

“I have always visited Toshali National Crafts Mela. It usually happens in the winter season but this is for the very first time we are witnessing this in summer because of COVID-19. Toshali has a good name and fame for handloom and handicrafts. People keep waiting to visit this craft mela. A lot of people come here,” said Soujanya.

Samsher Ahammad, a shopkeeper, who came from Uttarakhand said that they do good business in Bhubaneswar every year.

“We are selling block print bedsheets. These are handmade. The people of Bhubaneswar like our products very much. I am coming here for the last eight years. Every year it takes place in December. This time the crowd is fewer but the people are coming. As of the now we have done good business here,” he added.

Another visitor, Dr Mahant, who came from the Kendujhar district, said the specialty of the Toshali National Crafts Mela is that it is a platform where one can get products from across India.

“All the products sold here are of good quality and cost-effective and economically favorable for us,” Dr Mahant added.

SN Patnaik, Additional Director, Department of Textiles, Government of Odisha told ANI that the Toshali National Crafts Mela was inaugurated on March 28 and will run till 10 April. The original schedule was for December but it could not happen because of COVID restrictions.

“We have above 450 stalls from India in this Mela which include 30 food stalls, 140 stalls of handloom and the rest is in the handicraft segment. The participation is from all corners of India. We have participants from across the country even in food stalls also,” said Patnaik.

He further said that after two years such a big event is being organized in Bhubaneswar. The response is good and on average, every day more than one lakh visitors are there and on holidays the number goes up.

“Visitors are happy as they are getting handlooms, crafts and many handmade materials at reasonable rates,” he added.

Patnaik further said that till Wednesday (April 6) they had done business of 7 crores. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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